Instant 2020 NFL Draft 1st Round Reactions And Grades
#1. Cincinnati Bengals – Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
The Bengals use the top pick to get what they hope is their franchise QB. Burrow looks every bit the part. He set college football ablaze last season and set records all across the board. This is the logical, safe pick with #1….but will it be the right pick?
#2. Washington – Chase Young, DE, Ohio State
Ron Rivera could not have received a better welcoming gift to Washington than Chase Young. 6’5, 264 lbs with crazy explosiveness. Think of a prospect with the productivity of a Terrell Suggs and the body of a Jadeveon Clowney, that is Chase Young. If Burrow doesn’t break college football last season I think Young goes #1 easy.
#3. Detroit Lions – Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State
Okudah is a lockdown corner with ideal size and speed to play the position at a high level in the pros. Lining across from Desmond Trufant, Okudah will look to replace the void left by Darius Slay.
#4. New York Giants – Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
The logic is simple, protect Daniel Jones, Thomas allowed only 1 sack in 2019. Create holes for Saquon Barkley to run through, Thomas is a people mover. Is Thomas the best offensive tackle in the draft? I don’t believe so, but Thomas is no slump.
#5. Miami Dolphins – Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
Tua was a star at Alabama, he can very well be just as big of a star in the league. Injury worries are the only concern, it’s a laundry list of injuries and surgeries, but if Tua can overcome those very real concerns man is he one hell of a prospect. When you watch him play you forget he is all of 6 feet tall because his presence and poise in the pocket is one of someone who is a giant. Tua can be a transcendent player if things go well for him, but that’s a big if…but an if you can afford when you have 2 other first round picks to make up for it.
#6. Los Angeles Chargers – Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
Herbert has risen up draft boards during this draft process. I don’t particularly like Herbert as a prospect, but he has some tools that I could see him harnessing and proving me wrong. He is a tall QB with a big arm which is typically a profile that NFL scouts and GM’s fall in love with but rarely, if ever, pan out. Joe Flacco, Brock Osweiler, Josh Rosen; these are the names that come to my mind when I think of Justin Herbert. Time will tell if Herbert can successfully replace Phillip Rivers.
#7. Carolina Panthers – Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn
Derrick Brown is a monster at defensive tackle. He can completely shut down the middle of the field and can be a force from Day 1 on that end of the field.
#8. Arizona Cardinals – Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson
I’m surprised Arizona didn’t go with Tristan Wirfs or Jedrick Wills here. With the addition of DeAndre Hopkins I thought they’d attempt to protect Kyler Murray with the best OT in the draft. Instead they go with the ridiculously dynamic Isaiah Simmons who will be the cornerstone piece of that defense. Simmons will be allowed to play all over the field and will surely make an impact on an otherwise unspectacular Cardinals defense.
#9. Jacksonville Jaguars – CJ Henderson, CB, Florida
This is pretty high for CJ Henderson who could’ve been available with their other pick at #20. Henderson is no doubt the #2 CB in the draft but I’m just not in love with the value with some great receivers and lineman available.
#10. Cleveland Browns – Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama
The Browns are beefing up their offensive line with one of the top OT prospects in the draft in Jedrick Wills. Wills will be key to opening up the Browns offense for Nick Chubb and Baker Mayfield who looks to improve upon a disappointing 2019 campaign. Opposite of former Titan, Jack Conklin and Wills should be just what the Browns need to figure things out.
#11. New York Jets – Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville
A common factor early in this draft has been established. Don’t have a QB? Get one. Have a young QB? Protect them. This is the right move, protect Sam Darnold. Becton is an incredibly rare combination of massive size with dancer like feet. He is a crazy athlete for his size and has strength to go along with it. The Jets hope that Becton will be able to protect their franchise piece and give LeVeon Bell the time to hit his holes.
#12. Las Vegas Raiders – Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama
Ruggs III has breathtaking speed. He ran the fastest 40-yard dash time in this years combine and that is no surprise to anyone who has seen Ruggs play. This is John Gruden and Mike Mayock seeing what Tyreke Hill has done in Kansas City and thinking they can replicate that kind of explosion with their squad. CeeDee Lamb and Jerry Jeudy are the higher rated prospect by just about everyone so it’s incredibly surprising to see him go as the first receiver selected. The Raiders better hope the risk pays off and those guys don’t come back to make them regret the day they passed them.
#13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (via San Francisco) – Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa
The Tampa Bay Bucs move up 1 spot to get their guy. With Tom Brady joining the crew, the Bucs need to do all they can to protect “The Golden Boy”. Wirfs might very well be the best lineman in this draft and for Tampa Bay to be able to go and get him is a testament to their commitment to win at all costs during this window.
#14. San Francisco 49ers (via Tampa Bay) – Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina
I’m stunned the 49ers went defense here. Not only that, I’m shocked they passed on two top flight receivers in Jeudy and Lamb. I think either of those two players add a dimension to their offense that could unlock something special for them. Kinlaw is very good, he’s nimble, and able to rush the passer which should lead him to be very productive for San Francisco. I just think going with one of the receivers could’ve taken the team to another level.
#15. Denver Broncos – Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
Jerry Jeudy is a beast. He is a precision route runner and can get separation from just about anyone. He is big time play maker and is a nightmare in the slot. Drew Lock will have a plethora of talent with Jeudy and Courtland Sutton to throw to, it’s on him to get it to them.
#16. Atlanta Falcons – AJ Terrell, CB, Clemson
This is a bit of a reach here. Atlanta was probably expecting CJ Henderson to still be available here and after that quickly moved to their next CB on their board. Terrell is a physical corner who was a big play maker at Clemson and could do the very same in the pros. Terrell isn’t a terrific athlete and will have some fundamentals he will need to sure up. Risky pick here for Atlanta, but could have some good return.
#17. Dallas Cowboys – CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
Dallas had no idea Lamb would still be here at #17. CeeDee Lamb is an explosive playmaker and loved to make big somethings out of nothing in his time at Oklahoma. Dak Prescott can add Lamb onto the list on talented target he will have to spread the ball out to in Dallas. If used correctly, defenses all across the NFL will be left at a loss trying to stop Amari Cooper, Zeke Elliot, and CeeDee Lamb.
#18. Miami Dolphins – Austin Jackson, OT, USC
This is a reach but it is in an attempt to protect their new franchise QB, so it gets a pass for that. Austin Jackson wasn’t projected to go in any first rounds I saw so I am surprised to see him here. OT’s Josh Jones (Houston) and Isaiah Wilson (Georgia) were two tackles I expected to see go before Jackson, but he could develop into a solid blindside blockers.
#19. Las Vegas Raiders – Damon Arnette, CB, Ohio State
This is the biggest surprise of the 1st round. Arnette wasn’t slated to go until the middle -late second round at the earliest. He played opposite of #3 pick Jeff Okudah so he was constantly targeted and for the most part was up to the task as a part of one of the best secondaries in the league. This was definitely higher than was expected for Arnette, but if he ends up being a good player for Las Vegas, in the end does it matter if you get your guy?
#20. Jacksonville Jaguars – K’Lavon Chaisson, LB, LSU
Chaisson will be added to already loaded defensive line with last years first round pick Josh Allen and Yannick Ngakoue that will be sure to instill terror to all QB’s they face next season…..whenever that may be.
#21. Philadelphia Eagles – Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU
Reagor is a speeder and a gamer. He reminds me of a bigger Percy Harvin, very tough, isn’t afraid to make catches down the middle, and can burn you down the sidelines. The Eagles offense doesn’t have a player like Raegor on their roster and could potentially thrive in a DeSean Jackson-like role. Carson Wentz just got a shiny new toy to help showcase his cannon of an arm.
#22. Minnesota Vikings – Justin Jefferson,WR, LSU
Justin Jefferson is as sure hands as sure hands gets. He is one of those guys that you’ll constantly be hearing about his “catch radius” and how he catches everything in his area. This is a great pick for Minnesota who is looking to replace Stefon Diggs with a player that is more suited to play with QB Kirk Cousins.
#23. Los Angeles Chargers (via New England) – Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma
Murray is a 3-down linebacker and will fit in beautifully alongside the likes of Derwin James, Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa. With the addition of Murray, the Chargers are hoping to sure up all 3 levels of the field and put their stamp on LA football.
#24. New Orleans Saints – Cesar Ruiz, C, Michigan
I said earlier that teams with young quarterbacks were following a trend of protecting that asset by taking a top tier offensive lineman, well, teams with old quarterbacks are following that same method. “Tompa Bay” moved up to select Tristan Wirfs, and New Orleans protects their elder QB with Cesar Ruiz.
#25. San Francisco 49ers (via Minnesota) – Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State (Sierra Community College)
Brandon Aiyuk, formerly of Sierra Community College in Rocklin,CA before transferring to Arizona State, stays on the West Coast and gets snagged by the San Francisco 49ers. He is the kind of guy that doesn’t have elite size at 6’0, 205 pounds. Or great speed (4.5 forty yard dash). But neither of those things stop him from doing the things that bigger faster receivers do. His ability as a punt and kick returner is an added bonus for whatever team gets him.
#26. Green Bay Packers (via Miami) – Jordan Love, QB, Utah State
This might be the most surprising move of the night (I know I already said that). What’s that one saying ? “Once is a fluke, twice is a trend”…The Packers take a QB in the 1st round even though they currently have a 36-year old QB in place who doesn’t seem to have any plans of retiring any time soon, sound familiar? It is exactly what happened when they took Aaron Rodgers in 2005. We will see if it works out that well again for Green Bay.
#27. Seattle Seahawks – Jordyn Brooks, LB, Texas Tech
I don’t even know what to say, I’ve seen/heard nothing about this guy before. I’m just going to defer to what I said in our KHTK Mock Draft, “
The Seahawks never EVER do anything normal with their draft picks, you can never project who they are going to take or even what position they are looking at here…”
#28. Baltimore Ravens – Patrick Queen, LB, LSU
Patrick Queen is a crazy good athlete and flies across the field. Pair him with Earl Thomas and the rest of the Ravens defense and this could be the perfect pick for Baltimore.
#29. Tennessee Titans – Isaiah Wilson, OT, Georgia
Wilson is a physical beast! He is 6’6, 350 pounds and carries it well. Mekhi Becton is the only prospect in this class bigger than Wilson. While Wilson is still raw there are only so many human beings on this earth with his combination of size, power, strength, and athleticism. If he doesn’t work out at tackle you can also try him at guard.
#30. Miami Dolphins – Noah Igbinoghene, CB, Auburn
This is a head scratcher, the Dolphins just signed CB Byron Jones to a 5-year, $82.5M contract this offseason and have much bigger needs than another cornerback. There are some high level defensive line prospects, A.J.Epenesa & YeturGross-Matos, or just other cornerback prospects with higher upside.
#31. Minnesota Vikings – Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU
I cringe to see the Vikings take another corner with an injury history. But Gladney has all the tools to be a great addition to the Minnesota secondary that looks to replace Xavier Rhodes.
#32. Kansas City Chiefs – Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, LSU
Edwards-Helaire is the perfect running back to put into the Andy Reid system. He is the most dynamic player in the draft and was able to be a huge piece of the prolific LSU offense that set college football ablaze. It’s a common draft saying but this is about the perfect player going to the perfect scheme. Kansas City may have just added yet another weapon to their incredibly deadly arsenal.